Adoree’ Jackson was on Twitter, laughing at a joke posted by one of his friends when he spotted something on his feed that stunned and disturbed him.
“Yeah, that’s nothing you want to see,’’ Jackson said.
Immediately, Jackson closed down the app.
What the Giants cornerback saw that revolted him was speculation that teammate James Bradberry could be traded or released as a salary cap casualty, a move that would save the team $12 million on the 2022 cap but also cost the team its most accomplished and skilled cornerback.
This is not a hypothetical Jackson wants to see become reality.
“It would be devastating, I’m just being honest,’’ Jackson told The Post.
There is no conceivable way the Giants, coming off a 4-13 season, are better without Bradberry. But the cap waits for no team, and by next Wednesday the Giants must be cap-compliant and get under the $208.2 million threshold set for this season. The Giants were about $12 million over the cap before the releases of tight end Kyle Rudolph and running back Devontae Booker last week added $7.1 million in cap space.
Bradberry turns 29 on Aug. 4. His 2022 cap hit of $21.8 million is behind only Leonard Williams ($27.3 million) on the current roster. Jackson, signed last year in free agency to a three-year deal worth $39 million, has a cap hit this season of $15.2 million but he cannot be released — it would actually cost the Giants $3.2 million on this year’s cap to do so.
Agents canvassed last week at the scouting combine in Indianapolis speculated the Giants could get back a third-day pick in next month’s draft, with a third-round pick being the ceiling and a fourth-round pick more reasonable compensation. Bradberry led the Giants in 2021 with four interceptions. He was not as effective as his 2020 Giants debut — he was voted into his first Pro Bowl — but Bradberry is regarded as a top cover corner.
“Knowing him as a person, knowing him as a player, seeing things that he can do I’d love to have him back there in the secondary, getting the rock and getting it going,’’’ Jackson said.
Another option is to extend Bradberry’s contract — his three-year, $45 million deal expires after this season — to reduce his 2022 cap charge. This is not a direction new general manager Joe Schoen wants to go, if he can avoid it.
“As a last resort,’’ Schoen said of restructuring existing contracts. “I would rather not if we don’t have to. Again, eventually you have to pay the piper. Early on I’d rather not.’’
Schoen said he would like to clear $40 million off the roster, which would allow the Giants to sign their nine draft picks, pay their practice squad and sign replacements for injured players. The more he can shave off the cap, the more money he will have in free agency, which begins next week. Schoen would rather not weaken the defense he hands over to new coordinator Wink Martindale, but finances must be factored in.
Investing in Bradberry is not a medical risk, as he played in all 17 games last season and in the past five years played in 79 of a possible 81 games. The only game he missed for the Giants in 2020 was when he was on the COVID-19 list as a close contact.
Two other veterans, wide receiver Sterling Shepard and inside linebacker Blake Martinez, are coming off devastating injuries and must accept salary adjustments to remain on the roster.
Shepard tore his Achilles tendon in December and will not be available for training camp. He is likely to miss the start of the season as he endures an extensive rehabilitation following surgery. Shepard has a 2022 cap hit of $12.4 million, and releasing him saves the Giants $4.5 million.
Martinez tore his ACL in Week 3 last season and could be ready for the start of the 2022 season. When healthy, he is a tackling machine and the brains of any defense. He is set to count $14.4 million on the cap, and releasing him saves $8.5 million.
Jackson arrived last year from the Titans and lined up alongside Martinez for the first three games before Martinez went down in a 17-14 loss to the Falcons — a loss that could have been prevented if Jackson held onto what should have been a fourth-quarter interception in the end zone. Jackson said it would be “a shock’’ to see Martinez pared from the roster.
“Blake’s a stud, that’s the best way to explain who he is as a football player,’’ Jackson said.
The Giants do not have enough studs on their roster, but money talks and money walks this time of year.